VMTN_Admin
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Ultimate Deployment Appliance

http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/232

Deploy your favorite OS by pressing F12, bring your own ISO's, we'll do the rest

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672 Replies
tymorton
Contributor
Contributor

Has anyone tried using a CD image with Driver Packs from http://www.driverpacks.net ? I was reading through some of the posts and it appears that all of the drivers are located in a different location on the VM Image. Am I correct in thinking this? It would seem to me like an easy way to support a vast majority of the hardware out there. However I am on holiday and away from my lab to test any of this. So I have a couple of questions first then I will try this when I can get to a computer that needs to be re-installed.

1. From what I have read BartPE or WinPE is used to boot the target machine prior to installation of any Microsoft OS?

2. Do the subdirectories in the SAMBA share contain driver inf files for WinPE or for the OS that is being deployed?

3. If I create a ISO image that contains all of the "Driver Packs" that I want to be used during install will they be there when the ISO is mounted? These driver packs are put into a $OEM$ directory within the ISO image, or commonly referred to as "Slipstreamed" drivers.

I will continue on with my testing but I thought I would ask first to see if anyone has already done this.

Thanks

Ty

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bilou_gateux
Contributor
Contributor

1. From what I have read BartPE or WinPE is used to

boot the target machine prior to installation of any

Microsoft OS?

False

Behavior is the same as Microsoft RIS installation

Instead of using a flat image on the samba share, the ISO image is used as source.

2. Do the subdirectories in the SAMBA share contain

driver inf files for WinPE or for the OS that is

being deployed?

Yes

NIC drivers (.inf ans .sys files) are stored on the samba share to mimic the Microsoft RIS install.

3. If I create a ISO image that contains all of the

"Driver Packs" that I want to be used during install

will they be there when the ISO is mounted? These

driver packs are put into a $OEM$ directory within

the ISO image, or commonly referred to as

"Slipstreamed" drivers.

I never use "Drivers Packs" because i like to have the hand to what is installed on the destination box.. I prefer to create custom installs using my own drivers stored on the ISO image $OEM$\$1\Drivers folder and copied to %SystemDrive%\Drivers during install and a script that make drivers available for the PnP detection.

But "Drivers Packs" should work as well. same method is used except Drivers aren't copied first to %SystemDrive%.

drivers.cmd

CLS

:: Set Current Drive as CD

CD /D "%~dp0"

:: Set Drivers Location Folder

SET DRV=Drivers

:: Install Drivers

.\CopyInf.exe "%SystemDrive%\%DRV%"

this script is launched during unattended install before PnP detection (see WINNT.SIF in my previous post).

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

Did you check the /var/log/messages. It will show you

what files it is downloading from the textmode

directory. You should check if the mapping is working

properly before continuing. Be aware that the

installer is case sensitive, so rename the requested

files to whatever is in the log.

Also please try one or more of the following:

1. According to the KB article there should be

something in the .sif file like:

\[MassStorageDrivers]

"LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Driver (Server 2003

32-bit)" = "OEM"

This will tell the installer to check the

$OEM$/TEXTMODE directory, check the SCSI section and

find the driver for the mentioned scsi device.

2. The line in the txtsetup.oem should read:

d1 = "LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Storport Driver",

w23dsk1, \

(replace the backslash before w23dsk1 with a space

and remove the space at the end of the line just to

make sure...)

OK, fixing my MassStorageDrivers entry (and figuring out that /etc/tftpd.map had a typo in it) i got windows to boot enough to see the two SAS drives, and start checking for previous installations of windows.

then i see it hit txtsetup.oem file, and it immediately returns the error:

\-------

the manufacturer provided file that setup is trying to use is corrupted or invalid:

Line 1 contains a syntax error.

setup cannot continue.....blah blah.....

\----


bear in mind i'm a total noob with windows network installs so i'm not totally sure if that error points at txtsetup.oem, or something else but so far google searching the issue points me to the d1 entry in txtsetup.oem being wrong?

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

bilou_gateux,

I've looked at your NIC inf file for a couple of hours and it turns out that the inf parser doesn't see a driver in there to add. It does some scanning and it reconsies some lines, but for some reason it seems to be an invalid driver inf file. That could mean two things: the infparser doesn't work properly of the inf file is incorrect. I'll have to look further into that.

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

jrichards,

Here's a few thing I would try myself. Bilou_Gateux mentioned you can not use textmode drivers', so I'm not sure if this will ever work...

\* Check out this page, it has a few hints:

http://www.msfn.org/board/lofiversion/index.php/t19792.html

\- Add the following line to the .sif file to get the ATAPI cdrom drive to work:

"IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2)/PCI IDE Controller" = "RETAIL"

\- Make sure the txtsetup.oem file does not have dll= lines in it

(it says you should make the inf=)

Check out the following page, somewhere it says

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=225863&admit=-682735245116721064212028353475

you need to have in the unattend section at least the following:

\[unattend]

OemPreinstall=Yes

OemSkipEula=Yes

OverwriteOemFilesOnUpgrade=No

replacing the dll= with inf= option seems to surface on lots of websites, so that's where I would start.

If this works you may not be there yet, since we need to have the actual drivers (the non-textmode drivers) during the part where windows actually starts up, but let's leave that for a moment and try these options first...

One more thing: make sure you edited the textfiles under windows, the installer may not be happy with files saved with only Linefeeds (unix) and not with Carriage-Return AND Linefeed (DOS).

Let's hope you can make it work.

@Bilou Gateux: we're simulating a RIS server aren't we? The textmode method should work then or am I totally wrong here?

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

here's where I'm at with it now:

I created a new slip stream image using Bilou Gateux notes above. I put that ISO into UDA and it goes through the install process (using a generic non-modified template) and installs the box. When the box reboots after install, I get:

  • "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem"

  • "Could not read from selected boot disk"

  • "Check boot path and disk hardware"

which points to a bad boot.ini file.

I then tried installing the system booting from the slipstream i created which appeared to work, get all the way through installing drivers, entering the key, etc. but the box gets stuck in a reboot loop when it try to come up for the first time so I'm guessing that i have to get the remaining chipset (nforce4) chipset drivers added to the slipstream which is my next task.

My question though is why do you think cd install and the UDA install using the same iso produce different results? wierd issue, i would have expected the same issue either way..

At any rate, I do feel like I'm getting closer to figuring this out. I appreciate everyone's help!!

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bilou_gateux
Contributor
Contributor

Are you using a stripped RAID array connected to your SAS controller?

http://www.planetamd64.com/lofiversion/index.php/t9600.html

You probably need to install nf4 drivers during PnP Hardware detection.

But can't find an explanation why it works when installed from CD media and not when installed from UDA. it looks like controller order detection isn't the same when booted from CD or PXE booted.

Have you compared boot.ini ARC path from both OS install?

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

I think I've narrowed it down to boot.ini just got to figure out why.

With my slipstream CD, i can do a full install manually (ie entering in the product key, network settings, etc) just fine. drivers work, and as far as I can tell the chipset drivers that I used nlite to add to PNP driver set worked.

I then captured the boot.ini file, ( http://sjhome.org/tmp/slipstream_cd.gif )

I installed using UDA (which uses the same slipstream CD image) and upon reboot windows gave the hardware configuration error. booted with cd, and looked at boot.ini and see funny stuff: ( http://sjhome.org/tmp/uda_install.gif )

I ran bootcfg or cfgboot, forgot which way it was, and rebuilt boot.ini which produced a bootable system: ( http://sjhome.org/tmp/after_bootcfg_cmd.gif )

I hope this info helps!!

Justin

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

Are you using a stripped RAID array connected to your

SAS controller?

http://www.planetamd64.com/lofiversion/index.php/t9600

.html

You probably need to install nf4 drivers during PnP

Hardware detection.

But can't find an explanation why it works when

installed from CD media and not when installed from

UDA. it looks like controller order detection isn't

the same when booted from CD or PXE booted.

Have you compared boot.ini ARC path from both OS

install?

I believe that was the trick. i used nlite to add the nf4 drivers to the PNP driver set, and recreated the disk. I can now get that slipstream image to install my SUN Ultra 40's and Galaxy 4200's. I'm going to push that image to UDA and see what it does.

I greatly appreciate your help, not only will this save me some time as now I can give this CD to my hardware guys and I don't have to build every server manually myself, but I learned a lot about Windows during this which won't hurt the resume Smiley Happy

Now to get UDA to do the install!!

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

still got the boot.ini corruption after using the new slipstream cd with UDA. I just don't understand why.

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Justin,

Looks like this guy also has similar problems using RIS on SUN hardware:

http://bink.nu/forums/13855/ShowPost.aspx

He points to this MS KB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/227704/en-us

It sounds to me that maybe the RIS setup can't handle the RAID controller in a way that it is configured. Can you check to what disk the signature (8bfbb) the boot.ini is refering to (you probably need to go into the raid setup to be able to see stuff like signatures). Maybe that gives you an idea about where windows tries to boot from...

The referred KB article also mentions that it may be that your SCSI disc has a cylinder boundary that is too high (>1024) for RIS setup. Try to create a logical disk in the raid setup right at the start of the disc and 4Gb long for example.

I also checked the SUN knowledge base and the manual also has some words on the RIS setup of Ultra 40 workstations:

http://sunsolve.sun.com/data/819/819-3953/pdf/819-3953-12.pdf

See the chapter on Software installation'...

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saetaes
Contributor
Contributor

thedude_:

I was curious; other than the ancillary programs like TFTPd, HTTPd, etc., what else makes up the software package?

Personally, I think this would be a great standalone SourceForge project. There is a severe lack of good free deployment systems out there that can install Windows, Solaris, Linux. Yours appears to do all of them, which are things an enterprise needs...

I apologize if this has already been answered elsewhere, but I've just discovered this appliance and it seems like a hack-worthy project.

Thanks,

Mike

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Mike,

The appliance is mostly standard software (tftpd, httpd, nfs server, samba server, dhcp server).

For (pre-vista) windows deployment you need a binl service, which has been implemented as a python script (see http://oss.netfarm.it/guides/pxe.php ). There's also a script there that can build a binl service database from network driver inf/sys files. This is to get your network supported during ris installation. Linux and Solaris just carry lots of network drivers around in an installation.

The only thing I've done is bring it all toghether and tweak some stuff. Finding out how the various remote installations works takes most of the time while building. And of course debugging windows installation that require special network or mass storage drivers is quite a lot of work.

To be short: implementing a standalone version would require to make some changes and/or rebuild tftpd and (maybe even) dhcp. The rest should stay clean and standard I guess...

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saetaes
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the info.

I'll take a closer look at the configs and see what it would take to make this standalone...thanks again, and great work!

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Supercoe
Contributor
Contributor

First off I'd like to say I love this appliance it's much less of a pain than RIS with windows!

I do have a problem however, setup was painless and I can successfully deploy XP Pro and Server 2003 (standard) within vmware and on my test machine over pxe. But when I try to deploy Bartpe (live over pxe) the screen just stays black and won't even get to the initial loading bar. The bart iso I'm creating is good as I've tested it by burning it to cd, I've tried creating the iso off a XP Pro, XP Home, and Server2003(standard) disc with the same black screen every time. I will have access later to the enterprise edition of server but is the difference really that great between standard and enterprise that it would cause this?

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Supercoe,

There's a few things you may want to try or check:

\* Check that the configuration file (/var/public/tftproot/.sif) is in dos format and not in unix format.

\* If you added lots of tools to the bartpe distribution then you may have exceeded the ramdrive size that is being created. Standard ramdrive size is OK for default BartPE distribution. Try with the default bartpe distribution first.

\* Try creating the bartpe image from the same iso file/cd that you used for the w2k3 iso import.

\* Try using an SP1 or higher Windows 2003 CD. Just download the trial version of the enterprise edition from the microsoft site

If things still do not work let me know and please specify when the blank screen occurs, do you see the progress bars loading the bartpe iso image? Do you see the windows starting progress bar?

Good luck!

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jrichards
Contributor
Contributor

slightly off topic, but does anyone know if RHEL ver 3 or ver 4 exists in DVD format? i logged into my rhn account, and only find the cd verisons. I'd love to find the dvd versions to use them with uda..

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kandc4u
Contributor
Contributor

G'Day! Can I get some Novice info- the downloaded appliance has none in the zip.

I have W2k3 with VMware server free setup. How do I get the appliance going with the VM server, or do I need VM Player?

When I first saw the word appliance I thought of Smoothwall which needs a box all to itself.

Beaut.

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kandc4u
Contributor
Contributor

Well I got it setup in VM server anyway.

The iso does NOT mount though, so when the client connects by PXE it gets to the choosing the template id 00001 but can't find 00001.0 image.

I've seen some suggestions, but how do you edit config files in this distribution? I'm used to pico and mc.

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_the_dude_
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

kandc4u,

The appliance can help you deploy your OS over PXE, but you need to do some set-up first (like importing pxe-boot-files from the OS you want to deploy). When the mounting doesn't work, you have probably not been able to import the boot-files. Creating a template will not work properly either then... let alone booting a new client...

Please post the error message you get when mounting the iso/importing the OS files....

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